The Writing of Hey Mum, I Love You


Below is the launch speech I delivered at the Ivanhoe Library on May 3, 2014 in response to the lovely Geraldine Woolnough’s launch of the book. Geraldine is a longtime committee member and supporter of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Victorian Branch and recipient of the 2017 Leila St. John Award for services to children’s literature. Geraldine also works as a teacher at Watsonia Pre-School, a wonderful pre-school where children and parents are made to feel welcome and safe.

My Speech

Hey Mum, I Love You, is the second in a series of books for babies, young children and parents, to treasure and share together.

The series began with ‘Hey Baby!’ and will continue this year with ‘Hey Dad, You’re Great’ and ‘Hey Baby, It’s Christmas.’

Hey Baby is 53 words long whereas Hey Mum, I Love You is 66 (a doorstopper!) – but each of those words come from my heart and tidying up, refining, deleting and replacing and finding that perfect word balance – takes much longer than most people imagine.

Wednesday night I had a dream I was here at the launch – but I’d forgotten to bring the cake and we only sold 2 books! Happily that was only a dream – the cake is here, and although the book sold out last week, the publisher managed to ‘acquire’ special stock for today.

I would like to again thank Black Dog/Walker Books and Maryann Ballantyne especially for her foresight for this book and the Hey Baby series. For me Hey Baby! would have remained a short poem at the back of another, longer picture book if Maryann hadn’t noticed it and there would never have been the Hey Baby series.

I would like to thank all my family and friends and especially the Cranny Crew, who are always there, Trish Trchala for the extraordinary lengths she has gone to again, to make today happen, Geraldine Woolnough for launching,  Mary Gregor, Joint Reading Coordinator, Ivanhoe Library, Andrew’s Bookshop and Yarra Plenty Regional Library for allowing us to launch here today, the Greensborough Cake Decorating Centre for the gorgeous cake, and of course, all of you for coming here today – especially you children.

I would now like to read Hey Mum, I Love You, which is dedicated to my own darling mum, who isn’t quite well enough to be here today.

Hey Mum, I Love You is now also available in Board Book format, for the very little ones.




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